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Modern Times Kickstarter

Discussion in 'US - Pacific' started by tyrsis, Mar 28, 2013.

  1. Right, which is why I tried to explain that the Kickstarter funds are not to build them, but to make them better. The Kickstarter money is the difference between a ho-hum tasting room vs. an amazingly cool tasting room. A little bit of basic lab gear vs. some really useful stuff that helps keep 02 out of our cans and the like. A slow accumulation of barrels vs. a big order of barrels so we can start the sours on a larger scale sooner.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
    Eriktheipaman and Hanzo like this.
  2. If it is, a stretch goal is to install solar water heating. I really hope we get there, because I think in a land of sunshine, it'd be nice to use one of our strongest resources.

    edit: Hi boss!
  3. Hanzo

    Hanzo Champion (955) Virginia Feb 27, 2012

    Ah, missed that part, I thought you had everything else paid for except for the lab and tasting room. You can do a lot of pimping for 40K. Good Luck!
    ModernTimesJacob likes this.
  4. Xtent

    Xtent Savant (260) California Jan 16, 2013

    Oh man I want my black velvet portrait on the tasting room wall, now figure out to convince the wife.
    That shit would be awesome and funny as hell when I am there drinking.
  5. Based on your BA av, I totally agree. We can paint "UNITY" across your forehead.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
    ficklenicholas, tyrsis and MikeTen like this.
  6. Tieman

    Tieman Aficionado (200) California Oct 16, 2007

    THIS times infinity.
  7. Xtent

    Xtent Savant (260) California Jan 16, 2013

    she already complains about my beer habits, I could see it now when I tell her about this kickstarter
  8. Good point.
  9. Why not just get a loan from a financial institution if you want all that stuff or is that just not the way things are done anymore? Serious question.
  10. rgco

    rgco Aficionado (180) California Apr 2, 2012

    Because then you don't have to pay back the principal and interest to a bank. You just promise some type of item schwag or experience to people who give you money.
  11. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Savant (250) California Jul 7, 2012

    In for at least a scissor lift tour.

    Also, had me at Brett IPA
  12. tyrsis

    tyrsis Savant (360) California Mar 13, 2009

    You're killing like... three birds with one stone with Kickstarter.

    1. Basically an interest free loan.
    2. Get people wearing your stuff - free advertisement
    3. People who are genuinely interested in wearing said stuff get access to it early
  13. jtmartino

    jtmartino Savant (470) California Dec 11, 2010

    There is far, far less risk going through Kickstarter. Plus it's much easier to secure funding and it's way cooler than a bank loan.

    And what the others said :).

  14. Not a loan.
  15. vacax

    vacax Advocate (620) California Jun 3, 2008

    Everything sounds good, and the coffee roasting is an awesome addition. Of the dozens of new breweries recently this one actually stands out in that I have heard of it before my degenerate ticker friends drink their beer. I was interested in the League option initially, but after reading the fine print it contains no actual beer or any discounts on any beer. A beer club that doesn't include any beer? I can appreciate that it is entirely geared toward locals, I can get down pretty frequently from OC, but the week-long window for purchasing beer just wouldn't cut it either. Not friendly enough for the semi-local.
    Tieman and RedBeeron like this.
  16. They cannot include beer in the membership for legal reasons. Also, this is suppose to help the brewery be more awesome, like Jacob said. I see that $175 as more of a promise that, in time, a membership that is either a) cheaper, no beer or b) similar price, with beer, is available. Or perhaps neither; that's up to the business.

    The Bruery charges $295+ for a few pieces of swag and 10 bottles of beer. You think all that money is going to beer? Its going to making the whole place better. It's an investment.
  17. vacax

    vacax Advocate (620) California Jun 3, 2008

    They don't necessary need to include beer, but how about a discount? That isn't even the killer though. A one week window to buy beer brewery direct is just not convenient. That is the one thing The Bruery is selling that makes it so successful--convenience. Give me an online sale and let me pick it up. AleSmith is doing it for free even. Finally, since the place isn't even open yet, how many barrel aged beers and/or sours could they realistically release in 2013? Many of those beers take near a year to develop.

    I mean I'm pretty much sold on the brewery concept and the presentation here... it is just the details causing problems. Sell me convenience and I am much more likely to buy it.
    Beerandraiderfan likes this.
  18. All fair points. In about a year's time, we will see what the model will become. For now, the kickstarter fundraising won't allow any $-4-alcohol, as far as I know. But once renewals roll around, we will see.
  19. jklinck

    jklinck Aficionado (245) Washington Jul 23, 2007

    Borrowing or soliciting money for anything (car, home loan, credit card, kickstarter etc.) from anyone essentially begging. So I don't really get what your beef with Kickstarter is. And for the record I've never used it and am not affiliated.

    Plus giving less money to banks (you know those guys caused the recession by EXTREMELY irresponsible lending) is a always a good thing.
  20. In this case, nobody is soliciting for money. They are pre-selling you some merchandise and/or an event/unique experience.

    It is not a loan or a gift.
  21. Several other folks have already given good answers to this now, but I have two main ones.

    1) Any new business, but especially a capital intensive business like a brewery, can always use more money. I could easily use twice as much as I have. So it's not either/or, it's about finding a diverse array of sources for capital to patch together as much as possible. Loans, equipment financing, and private equity are all part of the mix. Crowd funding is just one more option.

    2) Loans do nothing to engage people. A big part of what I'm trying to accomplish with Modern Times is to make it about more than just passive consumption. I want to bring people into our process and make them a functional component of what we do. And why not? Some of the best beer in the world is made in San Diego garages, and some of the most sophisticated beer drinkers in the world are lawyers from Orange County. I'm just trying to involve the experts all around me by breaking down some of the boundaries between producers and consumers. Crowd funding is just another way to do that.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
    Tieman, DrAwkward82 and robL like this.
  22. Yes, the League is geared towards locals. After talking extensively to Patrick about The Bruery's system, I felt like we didn't have the manpower to handle complex logistics. So it's a very simple system that's really just intended for San Diego folks who want to be more closely involved in what we do and are able to get down to the tasting room on relatively short notice. It's not for everyone, but it's what I think we'll be able to handle in year one. I'd rather under-promise and over-deliver than the other way around.

    I made sure to explain the barrel-aged sour situation in the description of the League because I don't want anyone to feel disappointed or mislead. I'll copy it here: "...[our sours] will probably take more than a year to make, in which case you'd have to sign up for another year of membership in order to get first crack at them. League members will get to renew their memberships before we make any new slots available to the public (if there are any)." But as I also mentioned, League membership will last for 12 months from the date of the first special release, so it'll be considerably longer than just 2013.

    And as a matter of philosophy, you won't see any discounts from us. Stone is the same way, and I really bought into it while I was there. If you're looking to save money, the League isn't for you. If you're looking to get involved in a brewery that will throw the doors open to you and put a ton of time and effort into a small quantity of special beers that you'll have a chance to buy, then it is.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
  23. Jacob, can we assign a trustee?
  24. Well, not really because the trustee would have to be the member, and then it would be up to you to work out whatever deal you want with them. I guess the downside to that is that the member is then the one who gets to attend whatever parties or events we're able to put together, although I can envision us having some flexibility with that or maybe making some additional tickets available for purchase to members or something. But if you're not ever going to come down to the brewery, then just having a local trading partner join to do your muling is probably the way to go.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
    pmarlowe likes this.
  25. I realize I'm in the minority here but I just have a problem with donating/giving my money to a for-profit business, in this case a business that has yet to produce anything but words and shwag, in exchange for newsletters, overpriced beanies and promises of beer.

    I think Kickstarter has the potential to be incredible if you're trying to do some sort of charitable work, medical research, etc. I just don't get why I'm suppose to help someone start their business.

    Want to make a documentary? Awesome, can't wait to see it. Want to make fanny packs for a living? Sounds great, I'll check them out. Want to make beer? Fantastic, I'd love to try it.

    Just don't ask me to help fund your dream job.
    domtronzero likes this.
  26. Fair answers and I appreciate the response. My diatribe above was written before reading this. While I stand by my position that kickstarter involving for profit businesses is a non-starter for me personally, I appreciate the position you are in. I really do hope you succeed and that the beer is good. Cheers.
    ModernTimesJacob likes this.
  27. DrtyBvrJuce

    DrtyBvrJuce Initiate (0) California Jan 17, 2013

    $40k to start a brewery is peanuts. As said by Jacob, this is just to fund better equipment to fine tune beer. Ain't nobody starting a brewery on 40 grand.
  28. KevSal

    KevSal Advocate (585) California Oct 17, 2010

    Arnes portrait is the real gem

    <= I stole this picture he drew of me in bottles form ;)
    afrokaze likes this.
  29. APreacher

    APreacher Savant (260) California Jun 6, 2012

    Volunteer at your local NPO?

    This amerrikka and we should support small business...more so startup breweries. Don't like the beanie? Gift it at xmas, trade for whalesbro, wrap it around your shaft & head to protect your $300 titanium driver (golf term).

    Sleep on it or support it. No pressure for the end user... Ellza plus for kickstarter and small startups in general.

    GL to MTBC!
  30. RedBeeron

    RedBeeron Savant (250) California Jul 7, 2012

    I support my local credit union(Partners) easily as much as I support my local breweries.

    And having funded several kickstarters that have yet to actually deliver on the "perks", let alone the funded product, I dont think anyone is in the wrong for expressing a certain level of skepticism. For all the well worded deflection, a backer essentially has 60 days from the end of funding to file a dispute with their CC company, or just accept the fact that they may or may not receive the funded product whenever the creator actually produces it.

    As previously stated, I've backed up to the level I feel comfortable with. And while its not as though this business will fail if we don't donate, having been told that the only other tier i'd likely invest in (club level) is geared entirely towards locals does not motivate me to contribute anything more than my $5. I dont need or want a $25 beanie or $30 t shirt, even factoring in what the excess money is going towards given that 1) i'm not a local and wont have an opportunity to enjoy the hella dank lifted pimped out tasting room very often and 2) this likely wont affect the beer from Modern Times I will most likely be consuming.

    tl;dr there's a little bit of fail when it comes to encouraging the people that actively support kickstarter projects, but I still plan on buying their beer anyways.
  31. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008


    really wish I could join, but with this damn sequestration looming over I cannot commit to it yet. Vacax asked a bunch of the same questions I had. Some others I have are; is the structure of the "tasting" or trying of new beers. Is the going to be simply the beers are on tap for a week come try it and let us know? Or is it going to be a formal event? With these trial tastings, are they free for the League members or is there some fee associated with it? Will the special releases also be in cans (no preference, just curious)?

    Good luck with the Kickstarter and the opening.

    P.S. please tell me there will be a Berliner Weisse!
  32. All good questions, happy to clarify. And thanks for the kind words!

    The tastings and bottle releases are separate components. The tastings will be formal & work like this: when we brew a pilot batch of something that we think might be worth scaling up, I'll set-up a tasting event for League members. It will not be a drinking session, but a sensory analysis & feedback session with one of our brewers or myself: small pours, a score card, and the opportunity to discuss what needs to change to make the beer better. There will be a limited number of spots available (I'll run them the same way as I have the pilot batch tastings, by registering spots on Brown Paper Tickets), but registration will be "free" (as in, you already paid for it with your membership). I envision doing these pretty frequently. Based on League feedback, the pilot batch may go on tap in the tasting room.

    There will be a variety of other similar events that are also "free" with limited spots: coffee cuppings & new hop/ingredient evaluations are two that come to mind, but I'm sure we'll think of a few more. Then there will be events that are League-only that will require ticket purchases because they will include beer in the price, like certain parties or release events.

    The bottle releases will be much less frequent and will function like this: I'll send League members an email a little bit ahead of time letting them know when bottles will go on sale in the tasting room. League members will then have a week to come into the tasting room to make their purchases before I announce it to the world (if there are any bottles left).

    I would love to release some special stuff in cans, but I'm not completely sure if we'll be able to. We've talked about using a peristaltic dosing machine to brett-spike some cans, but we haven't gotten into the nitty gritty of that yet. So no promises, but it's definitely on the radar.

    And yes a Berlinner is absolutely in the cards, but if you've never had Derek's sour cherry gose, which we also plan to brew, I think you'd find it very tasty and very Berlinner-like.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
    nanobrew likes this.
  33. ModernTimesJacob,
    My initial reaction to your kickstarter was pretty negative, but after following this thread for the last few days I've changed my mind. Its great that your on here talking to everyone and answering questions. I know you have a great team over there and I wish you good luck. And the beers you have in the works do sound quite delicious, I guess I'll have to do some trades to get my hands on some when they come out!
  34. I'm with nquigley16. At first I wanted to punch every word in that kickstarter page. It was as if Stone's labels smashed into Sam from DFH and the outcome of the crash was the words left over.

    But I see what you're doing and I respect it now. It's a lot better than the kickstarter's like L.A. River Brewing, not even fucking located near the L.A. River. and you have the brewery fund covered and this is a great use of Kickstarter to get the name out there and generate buzz.

    I tip my hat towards you, good sir. I will stop by when I make the hour drive to S.D. as it sounds promising.
    tyrsis, pmarlowe and ModernTimesJacob like this.
  35. Something to add on the subject of growlers: assuming we can get approval from the ABC, I plan to fill other brewery's growlers/growlers with markings on them, by covering them with a Freaker (assuming there isn't some horrible manufacturing mistake and our custom Freakers refuse to fit over a growler, as some of the regular ones do).

    I haven't yet determined if we'll fill randomly sized growlers, although I'm leaning towards not, simply due to the potential bottleneck it could create during busy hours in the tasting room. But since I'm sure all of you have a standard 64oz. glass growler, getting a Modern Times Freaker is essentially like getting yourself a Modern Times growler.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
    Eriktheipaman and ryno09 like this.
  36. nanobrew

    nanobrew Initiate (0) California Dec 31, 2008

    maybe to address the weird growler sizes you can just have two price points. so if someone comes in with a 750 the will just get charged the small growler (32 oz) price. They will have to pay more per ounce, but at least they wont leave empty handed or buy a new growler
  37. That's certainly a possibility, but it still leaves three issues: 1) There are a more or less infinite number of growler sizes, creating a potentially annoying situation where whoever is behind the bar is constantly having to make judgement calls, thus adding more time & greater potential for mistakes/arguments, 2) If we reach our Kickstarter goal, my plan is to buy a counter-pressure growler filler that will be sized and calibrated for the standard 64oz. growler, and I don't believe they can be easily reconfigured to accept other sizes. So I'd rather make sure the vast majority of people get a high-quality growler fill than a small number of people get to use their preferred swing-top 750, and 3) It creates an accounting problem because different kegs would end up yielding different amounts of revenue without any identifiable explanation.

    Cheers & thanks,
    Jacob McKean
    Modern Times Beer
    albertq17 likes this.
  38. Actually, what you could do is fill the growler with water, pour that water out, and now you have its fill volume. This is a logistical nightmare, I realize.

    Just as long as the growler isn't expensive or proprietary, people should be indifferent to the 64 oz need, especially with the swanky counterpressure option. Given the new growler law, if you *don't* own a 64 oz growler already, you really should just go get one!
    ModernTimesJacob likes this.
  39. Sebowski

    Sebowski Savant (270) California Jan 11, 2010

    I think this will be the main issue with filling odd sized growlers:
    http://www.californiacraftbeer.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/Growler-Clarification-Final.pdf

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